Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Addams Family -- Morticia's Favorite Charity

Originally aired 4/16/1965, has aired several times since then, including last night on my very TV, via the medium of DVD, thanks to the current availability of numerous old TV series for personal viewing. I really like the idea. O, for money and time!

This episode I viewed while terribly sick, a spring cold, something that started in the throat and went then all the other places. Feeling like death warmed-over and alternately chilled what could be better for such a spirit than an episode of The Addams Family. Meaning, of course, that for one who doesn't laugh out loud at such things that often anyway, it was going to come across even less funny in this state.

I would call this episode something like a presentation episode. The characters, except for Mama, are presented as a whole. They are distinguished from one another without a focus on any one, then distinguished, as is common in the Addams' life, from the outside world. So what would that be, a tour de force or ensemble show?

There's not much to say about it except there's lots of great sight gags. They want to give items to the charity auction, which is headed up by our old insurance friend, Mr. Henson. The funniest thing in the show this time was him saying to another guy concerning Lurch that 'He's really a nice guy.' I thought that was a good touch, very humane in the place of all the usual wild-eyed revulsion you get when conventional meets freak on old shows. A great thing about the Addams, in the ideal world, would be that you really could get to know them, and go over for some hemlock tea and maybe turn them on to ordinary drinks as well.

Being sick, it was a joy seeing Lurch, who got to speak a punchline in this episode pertaining to the reprocurement of Pugsley's precious roaring clock, which was "Paid me $5 to take it." A punchy line, about all you could expect from Lurch with his real slow delivery. I really like the looks of Lurch, tons of make-up, apparently, a very beautiful guy. It made me wonder what he would've looked like if the show had gone on for a number of years, since I can't remember when he died; I think it was a number of years later.

Pugsley being up the chimney was not terribly funny. The bidding on the items, that the Addams would get back, was not very funny, but necessary for the plot. It didn't make any sense that Henson wouldn't recognize the bidders as Morticia and Gomez. Hello! Wednesday's speaking parts are so carefully enunciated, it makes me wonder about her as an actress. And Fester, beautiful Fester, is something of a Houdini, getting in and out of a suit of armor without so much as a creak. I liked him with his head in the bookpress, something that might've done me some good, although my sickness wasn't primarily a headache as he had.

Gomez was as great and dapper as always, very confident. Morticia as charming and beautiful as always. But no Mama, except a picture of her in the background. The moose clock and the other clock, the make of which has slipped my mind, was funny, as Gomez synchronized them. But that was toward the end and I was begging the episode to hurry up and be over so I could get to bed.

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